(12/52) Getting Things Done by David Allen

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An epic journey is about to begin.
This is gonna be fun!

Morning Routines

Morning Routines or Morning Rituals or whatever fancy name you want to give has become the cornerstone of starting my day. I can’t really remember when I came to know about this performancing enhancing ritual which is now packaged as Morning Routine. I am sure, many of us have been doing this for ages. And, we just never bothered to observe it.

My intention to consider setting up a morning routine came out of incorporating morning journaling habit and going to bed early i.e. on or before 11 pm. I usually go to bed around midnight and aim to wake up at 5 am. Reason being, I am a slow riser and take lots of time to get ready for work.

Another great benefit of waking up early is that it forces you to go to bed much earlier. Sleep has become one of the hottest topic on the productivity section of the internet. Apart from being the mysterious shift in consciousness, sleep has become underrated in the world of entropy. As I’m not an expert in sleep, I will let the Sleep Council experts drill down the importance of it. The information can be found here.

I believe that waking up early has a great impact in one’s life. It gives us an opportunity to prioritise our time and spend it wisely. Recently, I discovered an awesome (now defunct) blog called Daily Routines and very recently an amazing website called My Morning Routine. I highly recommend everyone to visit those websites.

After reading the morning routines of few creative genius, I thought I should put my routine on paper. Even though, I have been following a rough structure for quite some time. At the moment, my morning routine is:

  • Wake up at 5:01 AM.
  • Drink half a litre of lukewarm water.
  • Make a cup of coffee.
  • Morning Journal for 8 or 16 minutes.
  • Plan 3 Most Important Tasks (MIT) for the day and then identify the ONE thing.
  • Shower.
  • Prayer & Meditation for 20 minutes.
  • Breakfast (usually smoothie or 2 hard boiled eggs).
  • Listening to podcasts along the way.
  • Start the day.

That’s my morning routine. I think, everyone should have a routine to get into the groove of starting a brand new day. And, I would like to know what’s yours?

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(11/52) The 8-Minute Writing Habit

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One Positive Daily Habit

Recently, I’ve started to journal using prompts. When I started journaling last year, it was mostly about random things and used it as a form of venting. Then slowly, I saw a shift in my journaling output. I started to write about my aspirations, thoughts on worldly issues, personal growth and bookish knowledge.

In the month of March, I’ve chosen to use Art of Manliness blog’s prompts. On day 3, there was an interesting question. The prompt asked to decide one positive habit you would like to implement in your life.

It’s an awesome prompt. I have been reflecting on this topic for quite sometime. Recently, I listened to a podcast episode featuring Mike Vardy of Productivityist blog. Mike was explaining why he stopped making new year’s resolutions and started to define 3 focusing words for the year. It hit me! I wanted to create that 3 focusing words for 2016. Mine was:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Running

So, the important positive habit that I chose to implement on daily basis is reading. It is a very important part of human development. I strongly believe that reading opens one’s mind to new ideas and shapes the reader’s thought process. Mostly for good and sometimes for bad. Reading helps one to get lost in a world where everything is possible. Reading helps one to come up with spectacular ideas, innovate and discover great things.

Some of the greatest people ever lived and living in the planet earth had and has one thing is common. They all embraced reading.

Seeking of knowledge has always been the cornerstone of my reading endeavours. And, an easiest way to seek knowledge is through reading. Another way is through traveling; which is another great topic in itself.

In the era of constant distraction and overstimulation, I believe we have lost the ability to sit down and immerse or transplant ourselves to the magical world created by books.

Many of us wonder on the success of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings or George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones. I think the simplest explanation is, we for centuries always wanted to be fascinated in the pursuit of a meaningful journey and the happiness of pursuit.

If there’s one thing that I want everyone to take up this year. It is mostly definitely, reading.

Before I leave you. Here’s a quote to ponder:

GRRM Qoute

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On Being ME!

Hey All

I really wanted to Audioboo yesterday because yesterday was my birthday. But, somehow the brainstorming session lead to this blog post. I have completed 24 years of my lifetime on Planet Earth without any sort of Alien Abduction craps! With zillions of job applications & rejections for almost 1 and half years, I really didn’t know how to react for my birthday???

Many people wished me good … Family, friends, couple of people whom I really don’t know who the heck they are … One call really moved me! I felt so proud!

Here’s the thing … When I interact with people, I’m asked the same questions again and again. Like, “Do you have cold or something?” or “Are you havin’ soar throat?” For which, I always answer “NO!” because for simple reason I don’t have them! Duh!

I called my best friend yesterday. I was pumped up to talk to him again after almost 3 months. We had a great chat and when it was time to end our telephonic conversation, he asked me “Ridwan, What’s bothering you? I know your voice! What’s going on?” I was stunned! He’s in Chennai and I’m in London.  My best friend was able to read my mind by just listening to my voice. Many people have some theories about me. But, my best friend knows me better than anybody else because I’m never afraid to “be myself” around him.  And, that conversation made my day!

I learned, with lots of social programming out there! I will always have my best friend to be just ME!

PS: That was clicked right after a good hair-cut and a hot bath!😉

Positivity or Actions

Few days ago, I did a post on being positive and kinda carried away with that “boasting” time when I penned down my thoughts. I wanted this post to be a critical one with that idyllic euphoria of “Attitude is everything” scribble.

Maybe this positive thinking does have some effect on our physiology. Although our conscious mind is aware that the underlying emotions are pretty much congruent with the reality, but we are always taught to dress the wounds without treating the actual cause. To put it on skeptical terms, this “Positive Thinking” is a cheap “legal high”!😛

So, what did this “legal high” has done to me in the last couple of days? Well, to be honest, I kinda felt better. I did some stuff which even now I still get some butterflies in my stomach viz., using the telephone! For a stutterer, it’s pretty daunting. But, my audacity of hope that I will do better, did manage to get me an interview for a part-time job as a “Customer Service Assistant”. Now, to be critical, does that mean I didn’t face any setback? Nope, I did stutter pretty heavily when I did that cold-calling because I didn’t know what to expect from those people? Imagine the situation like going to a battlefield with your hands tied. I was in that kinda situation. Whatever, I felt much better after every call. I kinda became narcissitic!!!😛

Jokes apart, you guys gotta try out this “feeling good about yourself” thing. It’s there within us. Just like how we could miss out the SMS alert tone of an important text message, yet taking the necessary steps as directed by that message when we find about it later. We need these kinds of little “hope” shots to see what we might have missed out and take some actions to steer us back to our goals.😉

All in all, it was a rough week with just one good thing. But, hey, this positivity coupled with a definite action-plan could do something in our lives. Even though, it’s tough to maintain during a rough patch.🙂

I’m still skeptical whether to ascribe this little success entirely to my positivity (like all the “Attitude is everything” fellas 😛), when my actions have done the trick.😉

What do you think? Positivity or Actions? Which is the right thing?


The Much Needed Paradigm Shift

Hey All! Finally, it’s November and the year end is around the corner. Traveling down my memory lane, 2009 was a sorta “I don’t know, what’s going on?” kinda year for me. But, for our family, this was an important year. My sister’s marriage was held on 28th May in Kilakarai, Tamil Nadu, India.

The reason what made to write about this entire year is not because Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the USA or the UK fell into recession or the world in general; the actual reason is to have a self-introspection on my thinking processes itself. When I analyze my entire thought process in the year 2009, to be blunt, I was pretty much demotivated and frustrated with my job hunt. Unconsciously, I started to beating myself up and throwing away many things which I possessed and grateful for viz., my dad’s optimism, confidence, goal-oriented, ability to inspire people around me, and my very own writing skills.😛

TigerMan, sometimes even Panthera tigris needs someone to tell him that he is majestic, fierce and commanding on the outside, yet noble and discerning on the inside. Yesterday, I had a moment for that sorta introspection on my thought process after a chat with my friend, Pam (@stutterrockstar). The session was little over an hour. During that time, I had a mock interview, some thought-provoking questionnaires to answer and few other baby-steps en route for my job pursuit.

So what did I learn from the session? First things first, I got the much needed paradigm shift. I realized that there is no use in whining about how bad things are and the rejections that I get quite often. I realized that, there is a connection between my thought processes and the actions that I take based on those thoughts. I realized that, there is really a buffer where I can make a choice to be proactive and positive.

Therefore, on this very new month of November 2009. I have made a commitment to be proactive, confident and optimistic as usual. Moreover, this pledges to myself; I guess, will enable me to experience the adrenaline and an interesting blog post in month-end. So, let us wait and watch the play.😉